7 Health-Centric Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

7 Health-Centric Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

These resolutions will lead to a healthier you in the new year.

With the new year on the horizon, resolutions are once again the focus of every conversation. The first thing associated with the topic of resolutions is weight loss. All around you, people are vowing to return to the gym and refine their diets. That's amazing for them.

But amidst all the chatter surrounding weight, many of us lose sight of the other resolutions we can make in order to improve our health. We forget that looking great means little if we aren't feeling great too.

Below are ways you can boost your physical health in the new year, apart from dieting and hitting the gym.

1. Make the effort to get more sleep.

We live in a society that views sleep as an unnecessary luxury, an activity best kept to a minimum. Being busy is the key to a life well-lived, and if you aren't functioning on a mere four to five hours per night, how can you truly be successful?

No one tells you the toll that losing a few hours here and there can take on your health. Not sleeping can result in decreased concentration, a poor memory and a greater chance of developing a more dire condition. So in the new year, try to achieve the recommended amount of hours for your age. You'll thank yourself later.

2. Remember to take vitamins.

You'd think all those years of parents insisting we take our vitamins would have had a more notable impact on our daily regimens. Yet, most people I know don't even own vitamins, much less take them every morning. This is bad news, especially when you consider that the majority of us are deficient in something.

Start taking a multi-vitamin each morning. It takes five seconds and could boost your health in a number of ways. If you really want to ensure you're getting the right amount of nutrients, you can take things a step further. One simple blood test and your doctor can tell you what other supplements you might need to take. If you're consistent, you'll likely feel the difference after a month or two.

3. Increase the amount of time you spend outdoors.

If you can swing it, head to the nearest mountain and go for a hike. Physical benefits aside, spending time in nature allows you to forget your worries even just temporarily.

But even if you're unable to truly immerse yourself in nature on a regular basis, try to go for a stroll outside at least once every day or two. You'll be amazed by what a bit of fresh air and sunlight can do for mental and physical wellbeing.

4. Keep track of check-ups and appointments.

"When's the last time you saw your PCP?" This question is frequently met with a long silence, sometimes followed by the awkward "What PCP?"

With busy lives and high co-payments, the argument that you only need to visit the doctor when sick is an enticing one. There is, however, a reason that yearly check-ups, dental cleanings and six-month specialist visits are recommended even if it might be a pain taking the time from your schedule.

5. Stay hydrated.

We're all a little dehydrated, and very few of us are actively working to rectify this problem. With side effects of dehydration ranging from exhaustion to headaches to dry skin, it's probably a smart decision to start tracking water intake.

Most sources state that you should strive to consume around eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily. This goal can be difficult to meet when we're running from place to place, but buying a 16-ounce bottle can alleviate some of the struggles. Carrying it with you will remind you to drink water, and the faster you chug, the faster you'll reach your goal.

6. Cut back on your vices.

A small cup of coffee? Only one margarita at happy hour? Sounds like insanity! Unfortunately, it's also a crucial change to make if you're looking to feel happy and energized. Habits like caffeine and alcohol, which are fine in moderation, can be more harmful than helpful if left unchecked.

7. Nurture your mental health.

This is a broad resolution, but many of us forget that stress and depression are major players when it comes to our bodies. They place a strain on our cardiovascular systems, digestive systems and reproductive systems. Over time, that strain can lead to more serious ailments.

Ridding ourselves of constant negative emotions is easier said than done. This can be a lifelong process, and for some of us, might require professional assistance. For others, partaking in activities we love or learning meditation techniques may do the trick.

Make a promise to determine what works for you. Then, practice it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Man Who Catcalled Me

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

Dear Asshole,

First of all, screw you.

I don't know you, but you tried talking to me anyway.

You thought you had a right to raise your voice and call to me--as if I'm a dog, as if I should listen when you speak. You don't deserve my attention.

Unfortunately, I heard every word that passed through your lips.

You went out of your way to make me feel small. I pretended not to hear what you said, but I carried it with me the entire way home.

You probably forgot about it, but your words echoed in my ears for hours. Your stupid comment caused me more pain than I'd like to admit.

How dare you take a few seconds of your life to waste hours of mine.

You made me feel dirty in my own skin.

I went home and didn't want to look at myself in the mirror because all I could feel was shame.

I wondered if I could've done something differently to avoid you--wore less makeup, maybe; anything to avoid comments like yours.

It's not me that's the problem, though. It's you. What kind of man behaves the way that you did? Your words were hurtful, whether or not you intended them to be.

You took my self-confidence and my peace of mind away from me in a matter of seconds.

Before you, I felt good.

I wasn't doing anything to deserve your attention--I was just waiting at a traffic light.

It doesn't matter what I was doing, really. You had no reason to call out to me, to speak to me with no regard for my humanity, but you did it anyway.

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

The amount of time I've spent thinking about what you said is far more than you deserve.

You don't deserve a letter. You deserve a kick in the balls.

Regardless, this is a message for you, or men like you, who think that catcalling complete strangers is okay.

Attention all assholes:

I am female, but that does not mean that I am fragile.

My body is not yours. It is no one else's. It is mine.

Sexualizing my body is not a compliment.

I am more than a body. I am a person. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.

I don't deserve to be talked to like a piece of meat.

I am not here for your pleasure.

I am tired of being just a body. Women are tired of being just bodies. We are more than that--we are smart, we are strong, we are worthy of respect.

If you cannot speak to women with respect, you do not deserve to speak at all.

I hope you think about what you said, even for a moment.

I hope you never speak to another woman the way you spoke to me.

I hope you realized something from this experience, like I did.

Because you catcalled me, I remembered my worth.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who's Tired Of This Shit

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Borneman

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I'm Headed Back To The Water

Water Is Home. Just Dive In.

When I was a little girl my grandfather and mama taught me how to swim. I fell in love with the water and frankly, swimming was something I excelled at. They taught me how to swim before I could walk. Once I was a little bit older my parents quickly enrolled me in Red Cross swim lessons at a local pool. By the age of four I was swimming on a summer league team, and by eight, I was swimming competitively year round.

The water is where I feel at home. I’m not clumsy or awkward. I move fluidly with strength and speed. When I’m in the water, the world disappears. I get to be in my own head, working towards a goal while not worrying about my surroundings. So, I’m headed back to the water.

I know I will not be swimming the way I once did. I’m not looking to be a competitive swimmer again. I have no desire to wake up before the crack of dawn to hop in an icy cold pool. I’m going back to the water to find myself again. To find the girl who had a lot more confidence than I currently do. To find the girl who trusted her body to make the right movements and get her to where she needed to be. I’m looking to find the physical strength and endurance I once had that has since been lost.

When in the water, I feel safe because of the confidence I have in my ability, but also because I trust my body. I’ve never been scared that I would drown because I knew my body would get me back to the wall or would automatically bring me to the surface. I don’t place the same trust in my body while on land. I’m much more clumsy; it doesn't matter if I’m walking or running. I’ve fallen down the stairs, up the stairs, and tripped over my own feet.

When I stopped swimming, I lost myself. I think it’s time I find myself again.

Cover Image Credit: Maxwell Gifted on Unsplash

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